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The Forgotten Soldier
     

The Forgotten Soldier

4.7 31
by Guy Sajer
 

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ISBN-10: 1574882864

ISBN-13: 9781574882865

Pub. Date: 10/31/2001

Publisher: Potomac Books

Guy Sajer's perspective as a German foot soldier makes The Forgotten Soldier a unique war memoir. As a member of the elite Gross Deutschland Division, he fought in all the major battles, from Kursk to Kharkov. His World War II memoir has been handsomely republished as a paperback featuring for the first time fifty rare German combat photos from the Christopher Ailsby

Overview

Guy Sajer's perspective as a German foot soldier makes The Forgotten Soldier a unique war memoir. As a member of the elite Gross Deutschland Division, he fought in all the major battles, from Kursk to Kharkov. His World War II memoir has been handsomely republished as a paperback featuring for the first time fifty rare German combat photos from the Christopher Ailsby collection. These photos depict the hardships and destructiveness of war as troops battle through snow, mud, burned villages, and rubble-strewn cities. Many of the photos were taken by German soldiers and have never been published before. Lauded by critics as a statement not only on war but also on the human condition. The Forgotten Soldier will continue to capture the minds of readers for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574882865
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Publication date:
10/31/2001
Pages:
508
Sales rank:
107,710
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Author's Prefaceix
Prologue1
1Russia Autumn, 1942
1Toward Stalingrad15
Minsk
Kiev
Baptism of Fire
Kharkov
2The Front58
South of Voronezh
The Don
3The March to the Rear77
From the Don to Kharkov
First Spring
First Retreat
The Donetz Battle
2The "Gross Deutschland" Spring, 1943--Summer, 1943
4Leave117
Berlin
Paula
5Training for an Elite Division155
Auf marsch! Marsch!
6Belgorod169
3The Retreat Autumn, 1943
7The New Front215
8The Breakthrough at Konotop240
9Crossing the Dnieper253
4To the West Winter, 1943--Summer, 1944
10"Gott Mit Uns"273
11Cancelled Leave293
Partisans
12Red Tanks314
The Second Front on the Dnieper
13The Third Retreat331
Partisans
Christmas, 1943
The Siege of Boporoeivska
14Return to Poland349
15Return to the Ukraine362
The Final Spring
The Death of Herr Hauptmann Wesreidau
Exodus
5The End Autumn, 1944--Spring, 1945
16From Poland to East Prussia393
The Volkssturm
The Invasion
17Memel413
18Calvary437
Pillau
Kahlberg
Danzig
Gotenhafen
Our Last Battle
19The West451
Hela
Denmark
Kiel
The English
Prisoner
Epilogue: Return461

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The Forgotten Soldier 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Bill_k More than 1 year ago
My Dad - at 92 - is a veteran of some of the most fierce fighting in the Hurtgen Forest. He recommended this book to me. Although written from the German Soldier's perspective my Dad told me that it was an honest, compassionate account of the hardships and personal tragedies of every soldier called to do battle. The BEST book I've ever read on the subject and I unconditionally recommend it to anyone interested in either this period of warfare or the sacrifice of soldiers of any period in history.
REDARROW32 More than 1 year ago
I COULDN'T WAIT TO GET HOME FROM WORK EVERYDAY TO READ THIS BOOK. I HAVE READ MANY BOOKS ON THE WAR AND I HOPE TO READ MANY MORE. THIS IS THE BEST SO FAR ABOUT WHAT IS WAS LIKE FOR A SOLDIER IN WW2. HARD TO BELIEVE MEN CAN ENDURE THIS FOR 2-4 YEARS. SOMETHING IN THE BOOKS STANDS OUT IN MY MIND, 6 MEN EACH WITH A PANZERFAUST (THE GERMAN VERSION OF THE BAZOOKA) TOLD BY AN OFFICER TO CHARGE A COLUMN OF TANKS AND SHOOT AT THEM, AS THEY ARE STARTING TO RUN TOWARDS THEM HE CRAPS HIS PANTS WITH FEAR. IF YOU ENJOY READING ABOUT THE WAR AND HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT I PROMISE YOU
MilitaryHistoryBuff More than 1 year ago
Truly amazing down to earth recording of the life of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front in the waning years of the Wehrmacht power. Does a wonderful job of examining the life of a grunt fighting a losing battle but fighting nonetheless. If you want an book which demonstrates the tenacity of the human spirit in the absolute worst of conditions this is the one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Buck360 More than 1 year ago
One of the most arresting books I've ever read. "The Forgotten Soldier" tells the author's story from recruitment, to war, to disaster...in Hitler's Wehrmacht. Veterans talk about how difficult combat is to describe to the uninitiated; Guy Sajer provided as clear a picture of its horrors - and thrills, frighteningly - as we've ever received. Yes, it could have been edited differently. It's overly long during several sections. Yes, it has a few historical inaccuracies. (If it were perfectly factual, I would think it a fraud. Soldiers on the ground rarely have a full idea of overall strategy while they're fighting.) All in all, it's a masterpiece of first-person reportage, a blunt assessment of a lost cause, and a terrifying coming-of-age story for the author. If you are interested in history, you have to read this book to be conversant in true stories about war. "Band of Brothers," with all due respect, pales in comparison.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guy Sajer was a unique individual to start with, born and raised in an area contested by France and Germany for many years. He had family ties to both sides and his worldview strikes the modern reader as an idiosyncratic, naive, homogenized nationalism. He was filled with pride, for instance, when the Vichy French joined the Axis--his 2 nations, fighting as 1 (as he saw it). But putting his convoluted motivations aside, Sajer wrote one of the best war memoirs ever--and about one of the biggest, bloodiest campaigns ever: WWII on the Eastern Front. His experiences as an infantryman should be required reading for every young man who imagines war to be heroic or glorious. His honesty about what he saw, did and thought is striking. The closest anyone in Sajer's auto bio comes to heroism is a man Sajer often refers to as "the veteran" (Wiener was his name, so Sajer undoubtedly did him a favor by dubbing him with that title). Sajer and the other soldiers came to depend on the veteran, who was a pragmatic survivor, almost never lost his cool, and had a keen grasp of the strategic big picture well beyond his tactical grunt's-eye-view. The men in his squad thought him invincible. "Combat fatigue," "shell shock," "post traumatic stress" or whatever you choose to call it affects every soldier differently, and I found it profoundly sad what happened to the veteran's mind by the end. The reason for the war on the Eastern Front was that one power-mad dictator wanted territory (Leibensraum) from another. But Sajer's story resonates with the experience of veterans of any war who endured heavy fighting and monumental hardships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a great book, but rather sanitized on some issues. Worth reading just for his persepctive during the war and the various issues he faced as a rear echelon soldier and then later as an infantryman in one of the elite German divisions. No glory hound here and it rather frank about various aspects of combat. But he is also very silent when it comes to the treatment of the soviet citizens by the Germans, war crimes and if you believe the author, he had no idea the allies were deep into Western Germany at the end of the war (he fought in the east, but was captured by the British at the end). Those few things are kinda silly to leave out or even write and defy explanation. But the rest, great book. He was very factual about the treatment of veterans home on leave back in Germany by the military police during the war.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing. Not only does it offer an unfortunately rare insight of the war 'German point of view', but it does so in an engaging and sensitive way. Guy Sajer makes a superb narrator, relaying the events candidly, sensitively, and honestly. In reading this book, one may learn to cast aside the stereotype that all the Germans in this time were ruthless 'Nazis' -- in fact, a majority of them seemed to just be fighting because they were pressed into service, or just fighting for their country as everyone else did. This book has made me laugh and smile at the moments of friendship, cry because of the horrors and tragedies of war, and opened my mind to a whole new perspective. It is quite a simple read, but is hard to put down once you start reading though it is a memoir, it reads like a top-rate fiction novel. Don't pass on this great novel just because it isn't from a familiar, or popular, point of view. 'The Forgotten Soldier', though it might be hard to read because of the sheer horribleness of the war it depicts so heartrendingly, is definitely a must-read. [Also, get the illustrated edition if possible. The rare photographs included enhance the memoir greatly and offer more insight into the German side of WWII.]
Guest More than 1 year ago
It¿s like you¿re in the foxhole with Guy Sajer. An incredibly honest, well written memoir of WWII on the eastern front while in the Germany army. The horrors of a seventeen year old¿s time during the downside of German battles against Russia. A classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Short sweet and to the point, BUY THIS BOOK and more importantly read it! This is a gripping account of Guy Sajor, a German soldier on the Eastern front. This is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't realize that the Nazis inducted half-German teenagers to fight. This autobiography is pure prose, as Sajer tells about the war he fought from the fall of 1942 until 1945. He went through boot camp and began to learn German the hard way. He was in the wehrmact division of Gross Deutschland, where he was first in a supply company, and then in an infantry company. He tells about carrying supplies through the snowy wasteland of the Eastern front and later being a replacement for a combat unit. They'd be let out of a truck and follow a non-com. A trail would fork off and a green recruit would have to walk alone through the frozen snow to his machine gun post that was kilometers away. Reading this, a person can feel the cold biting into the feet and the crunch of frozen snow, while carrying heavy burdens. Sajer tells about fighting toward Minsk and the battles of Kursk. He tells about being given leave and on the way to the west, everyone at the depot or on the train was comandeered to counter a break through by the Russians. Nazi propaganda said that the occupied countries were terrified of the Soviets and were trainning forces to join the fight against the Soviets. Sajer ran into French speaking SS and thought that France had joined the fight. When he found out that they were Belgian SS vounteers, his heart sank. Sajer tells us what he felt about people, and caused me, the reader, to wonder about 'The veteran', an older Prussian soldier, who was almost 30 years old. So many times, Sajer was seperated from the veteran and his boot camp friends, Hal, Lensen, Neubach,because of leave or hospitalization, and Sajer would jump into a shelter or machine gun emplacement and find his friends there. We see men have breakdowns during artillery barrages, starve and survive, as their clothes and arms deteriorate. As they do this, they helped rescue German civilians, young and old, from the Soviet onslaught. Sajer shares the fear and reality of being trapped between a deep, wide icy river and the Soviet artillery and fighter planes. Sajer often was part of the rear guard that covered the retreat of others. Fortunately, Sajer and his unit ended up on the western front, and they were captured by the British. He felt betrayed by the French when the British turned him over to them. His recollection of going home shows the anguish he was in. He went near the house and stood on the main road for hours. His German mother walked past him, without recognizing him. When she returned and, as she passed him, he called to her. He was 19. The photos are wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a kind of German 'Band of Brothers' in the way it follows the shared experiences of a small group of comrades in uniform. They happen to be fighting ultimately losing battles, which makes their struggles that much more compelling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It seems like a lot of times as you read memoirs, you don't get too much of a glimpse of the feelings a soldier went through. Sajer really lets you into his thoughts and heart as he goes through his experience. A must read.